Commander Coordinator Jack Del Rio calls the Jan. 6 riot a “cloud of dust”

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Commander Coordinator Jack Del Rio calls the Jan. 6 riot a "cloud of dust"

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In a post-training meeting with reporters, Washington Commanders defense coordinator Jack Del Rio minimized the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by comparing it to the racial justice protests following the death of George Floyd in 2020 referred to as a “cloud of dust”.

“I can look at pictures on the TV [of the Floyd protests] — people’s livelihoods are being destroyed. Shops are burned down. No problem,” he said. “And then we have a dust sample in the Capitol, nothing burned down, and we’re going to make a big deal out of it. I just think it’s a double standard and if we apply the same standard and are reasonable with each other, let’s discuss it. That’s all [on Twitter]. Let’s have a discussion. We are Americans.”

Del Rio, 59, has spoken out on Twitter, often on conservative political issues, in each of the three offseasons he was Commanders coach.

The latest came Monday night in response to an article by the Brookings Institution think tank about the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack. DelRio wrote, “would like to understand ‘the whole story’ of why the summer of rioting, looting, arson and destruction of personal property is never discussed, but that’s ??? #Common sense.”

His comments have drawn the ire of some fans and commentators, including former cornerback DeAngelo Hall tweet a clown emoji at veteran coach, and Brian Mitchell urged Commanders head coach Ron Rivera to address the situation.

“How does [you] Do you expect everyone on this team to be straightforward when you’ve got a guy like that in the defense coordinator position? Mitchell said on his radio show 106.7 The Fan Wednesday.

Del Rio said he’s not worried his players would attack his comments.

“Anything I ever say or write, I would like to say or write in front of everyone I work with, players and coaches,” Del Rio told reporters on Wednesday. “I express myself as an American; we have that ability. I love this country and I believe what I believe and I’ve said what I want to say. Now and then there are some people who are offended by it.”

After practice, Rivera declined to discuss Del Rio’s tweets and whether he had discussed them with his defense coordinator. Rivera said he’s “not necessarily” concerned that Del Rio’s comments will affect the dressing room, which is predominantly black and includes many players who supported the Floyd protests with words and social media posts two years ago. If it becomes a problem, Rivera said, he will take care of it.

“I will not share with you how I deal with this because it will be a private matter,” he added.

Some of the defense’s most vocal leaders, including defensive tackle Jonathan Allen and defensive end Chase Young, were unavailable for comment Wednesday. Cornerback Kendall Fuller said he didn’t see Del Rio’s tweet, and after reading it said he had no reaction. If he changed his mind, he said he would discuss it with his coordinator.

Fuller was asked if the team had had ongoing discussions about the race since the summer 2020 demonstrations.

“It’s definitely something the guys still have,” he said. “It may not be as comprehensive as it was when it was all happening. But it’s something you still see, conversations guys still have. Just like everything in the dressing room. I love NFL locker rooms because everyone feels so comfortable. We all know each other; we are all comfortable with each other; everyone is open to listening and listening to everyone. Everyone just puts their opinion and pride aside and just listen to everyone’s opinion. I think that’s how we grow.”

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